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    Trey Lance Landing Spots: Will San Francisco Trade QB?

    As the NFL Draft approaches, 49ers rumors surrounding a possible trade of QB Trey Lance are heating up. What teams could inquire about his services?

    If Trey Lance only ever starts four games for the San Francisco 49ers, that trade-up and pick will go down as one of the worst turn of events in NFL history. Just a few years later, the 49ers may trade Trey Lance after seeing him start only four games.

    It took three first-round picks and a third-round pick to move from 12 to three. That 12th pick eventually became Micah Parsons. And while it’s unlikely that San Francisco would have gone his direction with Mac Jones remaining on the board, dreaming of a world with Nick Bosa and Parsons on the same defense would be insane.

    Latest 49ers Rumors Surrounding QB Trey Lance

    According to Ian Rapoport, teams have inquired about the services of the former third-overall pick. His sources tell him that San Francisco has been receiving the calls and not sending out the feelers.

    However, the 49ers’ brass made it clear that Brock Purdy, if healthy, is the guy for San Francisco. During the NFL Combine, general manager John Lynch was explicit about that.

    “I think Brock has earned the right with the way he played that he’s probably the leader in the clubhouse. I’ll let Kyle (Shanahan) make those kinds of decisions, but I know when we talked, Brock probably has earned that right to be the guy. If we were to line up, he probably would take that first snap.”

    Lynch felt so strongly about it that he felt compelled to reiterate that he’d earned the right to start.

    MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator (With Trades)

    However, not all is hunky-dory. Purdy’s still rehabbing from his elbow surgery, and Lance is still coming back from his broken ankle. Purdy didn’t exactly guarantee a return anytime soon when he last spoke, either. The QB said he’s “not really sure, honestly,” if he’ll play in 2023, although he did seem in good spirits about getting the brace off.

    “Just to be able to get out of the brace, move around more frequently and stuff like that — I know it sounds small, but that’s a big win,” Purdy said over Zoom.

    It would be premature to move from Lance unless the haul was simply too great to pass up, even with lackluster draft capital. The 49ers don’t necessarily have a great history of keeping quarterbacks healthy. Jimmy Garoppolo was endlessly hobbled during his time with San Francisco, and they lost three QBs a season ago, leaving them with Josh Johnson to finish out their playoff loss against the Eagles.

    Landing Spots for Lance Include Titans, Ravens, Vikings, and Texans

    Each franchise either should or could be in the market for Lance, but none are likely to move in on the 49ers’ QB until after the NFL Draft. Additionally, because of the rehabilitation for the top two 49ers passers, they’ll likely proceed with caution and take the capital for next year’s draft.

    As poetic as it would be to see Lance end up in New England to replace Jones, the QB Kyle Shanahan reportedly wanted up until the gun a few draft cycles ago would be poetic. However, it might be better to wait and see on New England’s QB situation for now.

    Tennessee Titans

    From a stylistic perspective, this would be a match made in heaven. Mike Vrabel has a Patriot Way about him. Tennessee is zigging while everyone else zags. They want to run heavier personnel groupings, run the football, and dice up opposing secondaries with play-action.

    The Titans’ roster could use some work, particularly on the offensive line and at wide receiver, which makes a potential trade a tough proposition for the franchise. But if they miss out on one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft with the 11th pick, Tennessee may feel comfortable trading assets away in next year’s draft to bring in Lance.

    Baltimore Ravens

    The Baltimore Ravens would be another schematic fit for Lance, assuming they’d want to continue using the QB to add an extra gap to the run fit for defenses.

    MORE: Brock Purdy ‘Not Sure’ About 2023

    Lance was a fantastic runner at North Dakota State, and he could immediately add that element to the Ravens’ backfield if they’re unable to get a long-term deal done with Lamar Jackson, which looks ever more unlikely by the day.

    Minnesota Vikings

    Kirk Cousins won’t play forever, and he’ll be 35 before the start of the NFL season in 2023. He’s also quite expensive and entering the final year of his current deal, with as many void years tacked on as a rookie’s initial contract.

    Lance is a big, athletic QB with a monster arm that could benefit from Kevin O’Connell’s offense. Obviously, having decent pass protection and a guy named Justin Jefferson on the outside wouldn’t hurt, either.

    The only problem with Lance not starting immediately is that the franchise trading for him would have to make a decision on his fifth-year option after 2023, complicating the issue. That brings us to the final team.

    Houston Texans

    DeMeco Ryans might not really know Lance. He was leading the defense and probably didn’t have too much contact with the opposite side of the ball often. But he’s definitely seen enough of Lance in practice environments to know whether he likes him or not, as he had to defend him in those practices.

    But Bobby Slowik sure knows enough about Lance to decide whether or not to pursue that avenue. Additionally, we often see situations where former colleagues strike deals with one another. That trust is a big proponent in making sure you’re not getting got by the opponent.

    If the Texans really don’t like any of the top QBs aside from Bryce Young and they pass on the rest, Nick Caserio could quickly hop on the phone with Lynch to discuss the possibility of a trade for Lance.

    What Could Potential Compensation for Lance Look Like?

    Coming off a broken ankle doesn’t help Lance’s case. We’ve already seen the athleticism in Dak Prescott zapped a bit by a broken ankle, and athleticism is the thing that truly elevates Lance as a prospect.

    Because let’s be real, he’s still very much an unknown entity. With only (effectively) two years remaining on Lance’s deal, the compensation will be a tough pill to swallow for San Francisco, especially because of how much they spent to go get him.

    In fact, almost any other GM and HC duo to make this move and miss so spectacularly would almost surely already be looking for a new job. One also must wonder, “What if Purdy can’t replicate his efficiency, and Lance hits his perceived pre-draft ceiling?” That would almost surely be the nail in their coffins, even with the success they’ve shared in San Francisco up to this point.

    MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Team Needs

    Getting anything more than a third-round pick seems crazy, but we did just see the Indianapolis Colts gift Philadelphia a first-round pick for Carson Wentz not too long ago, so who really knows?

    Sam Darnold was traded for a sixth-round pick, a future second-round pick, and a future fourth-rounder. Darnold only had one year left on his deal at the time, and Lance still has the allure of upside to his game that Darnold had shown by then that he lacked.

    That kind of package feels like a best-case scenario for the 49ers.

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